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Is it just my hormones? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

There is a small group for whom this is true: about 9% of women with PGP seem to have purely hormonal pain, which can be just as severe as that of other women but does not respond to mechanical or manual treatment. This means being careful about positions for birth and avoiding things that you know will aggravate your pain, as for all other women with PGP. These women’s pain resolves as soon as the baby is born. Traditionally, it was thought that all PGP was like this, and many women are still told, “It will get better as soon as you have the baby”. However, the reason that the Pelvic Partnership exists is that many women have found out too late that this is not always the case and they wish they had been given more accurate information about the likely outcome sooner, as they missed out on treatment and experienced pain for much longer than necessary.

Because it is not a hormonal problem, stopping breast-feeding will not speed up recovery – this is one of the many old wives' tales about PGP!

If you are in the small group with hormonal pain, you still need to be properly assessed and monitored in the usual way and be well managed to prevent you from deteriorating. It is only by doing this that it can be established that you do not have a joint problem which would respond to treatment. Your pain is likely to resolve within a couple of days of giving birth.

For the rest of us, hormones affect, but do not cause, PGP, and manual treatment will help in the vast majority of cases.

This is why old-fashioned ideas such as stopping breast-feeding and waiting for time to elapse after you have had the baby will not make any difference to your symptoms, as they are usually caused by mechanical, not hormonal changes.

You can’t change your hormones, but you can treat an asymmetry, which is great news if you have PGP. It is also important to get your pelvic alignment checked after you have had your baby, especially if you have had a difficult birth or are still experiencing pain as there may be a mechanical element to this pain.

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